CH07. VALPARAÍSO (CHILE), 14/04/2015. Lilian Tintori, esposa del líder venezolano encarcelado Leopoldo López, muestra hoy 14 de abril de 2015, el proyecto de acuerdo (protesta formal) aprobado por el Congreso chileno en Valparaíso (Chile).Tintori busca respaldo contra el gobierno de Nicolás Maduro en Venezuela y denuncia la crisis política que se vive en su país. EFE/MARTÍN CONTRERAS

GENEVA, November 12, 2015 – A coalition of 50 Venezuelan and international human rights activists, including Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, sent an appeal today (see text below) to all UN ambassadors in Geneva, urging them to stay away from tomorrow’s special UN Human Rights Council meeting featuring a speech by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

(For UN Watch’s statement explaining why today’s UNHRC special meeting for Maduro violates the Council’s own mandate, click here.)

“This is a regime that throws the opposition leader in jail, brutalizes dissidents and student protesters, and which, paradoxically, denies entry to the Council’s own human rights investigators,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the non-governmental human rights organization UN Watch, which spearheaded the initiative.

“The UN should not have elected Venezuela to the Human Rights Council two weeks ago, nor should it be rewarding Maduro with a global podium where no dissenting voices will be allowed,” Neuer added.

“Will the Council at least demand, when Maduro visits, that he reconsider his government’s rejection of requested visits over the past decade by the UNHRC expert on torture, the expert on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the expert on extrajudicial executions, the expert on the situation of human rights defenders, the expert on independence of judges and lawyers, the expert on freedom of association and assembly, the experts on arbitrary detention, and the expert on violence against women?”

_________

Joint Appeal for UN Member States Not to Attend 
UNHRC Speech by President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela

11 November 2015

Excellency,

We, the undersigned victims, family of victims, human rights activists and non-governmental organizations, appeal to your government to show solidarity with the victims of the Venezuelan government’s gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses, by choosing not to attend the special meeting of the Human Rights Council that has been convened for this Thursday, 12 November, to hear an address by President Nicolás Maduro.

As you know, unlike all other sessions of the Human Rights Council, the format of the special meeting requested by Venezuela is such that only President Maduro will speak, while no other voices will be heard, neither from governments nor civil society.

We are grateful for the objections that were made by some members of the UNHRC Bureau, as recorded in the minutes of the November 6th meeting, including their recognition — in light of the imminent elections to be held in Venezuela — that this special meeting may give rise to negative perceptions.   

The fear of negative perceptions over this special meeting is compounded by the extreme nature of Venezuela’s ongoing oppression of its people, and by Venezuela’s refusal — despite being an elected member of the Human Rights Council, and just now re-elected — to accept fact-finding visits by the Council’s own special human rights experts. 

The requested UNHRC expert visits that have been rejected by Venezuela include:

  • Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression
    Visit requested in 2003; reiterated in 2009.
  • Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
    Visit requested in November 2006; reminder in 2008.
                                    
  • Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
    Visit requested in 2007; reminders in 2008, 2010, and February 3, 2015.               
  • Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers
    Visit requested in 2011, reminder on 27 March 2014.
  • Special Rapporteur on freedom of association and assembly
    Visit requested on 23 September 2011; reminder on 30 October 2013.
  • Working Group on arbitrary detention
    Visit requested on May 13, 2011; reminders on August 6, 2013 and September 15, 2014.
  • Special Rapporteur on violence against women
    Visit requested on March 1, 2012.
  • Special Rapporteur on torture
    Visit requested in 2013.
  • Working Group on Business and Human Rights
    Visit requested on December 19, 2014.

Accordingly, we urge your government not to attend the UNHRC’s special meeting on Thursday, and not to legitimize the Maduro government’s record of abuse.  

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Victims and family of victims from Venezuela

Lilian Tintori, wife of political prisoner and opposition leader Leopoldo López

Mitzy Capriles, wife of jailed Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma, political prisoner

Julieta López, aunt of political prisoner and opposition leader Leopoldo López

Carlos Vecchio, Deputy Coordinator of opposition party Voluntad Popular, in exile

Juan Rodriguez, shot during demonstrations, now in exile

Venezuelan Activists and Non-Governmental Organizations

Eusebio Costa, student leader, President of Renovatio, member of the protest camp in Las Mercedes

Tamara Suju Roa, Executive Director, Observatorio de Derechos Humanos del Instituto Casla

Maria Alejandra Alvarez, Coordinator, Iniciativa Por Venezuela

Ernesto Tinoco, Egui Coordinador, Asociación para la Democracia en las Américas

Maite Macias, Spokesperson, Nuestra Voz

Rodrigo Diamanti, President, A World Without Censorship, Venezuela

Carolina Lindorf, Coordinadora de Prensa y Comunicaciones, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática Venezolana

Fundepro, Venezuela

Fundeci, Venezuela

Red De Apoyo Derechos Humanos Vente Venezuela

Justicia Y Proceso Venezuela

Federacion Interamericana De Abogados, Venezuela

Union Venezuela Society, Venezuela

Canadian Human Rights International Mision Venezuela

Justicia Y Libertad

Asociacion De Profesores De La Universidad Simon Bolivar

Centro De Paz Y Derechos Humanos De Universidad Central de Venezuela

Caracas Organizada

Centro Popular De Formacion Ciudadana

Cruzada Para La Libertad De Los Presos Politicos En Venezuela

Funpaz, Venezuela

Ventana A La Libertad, Venezuela

Centro Lationamericano Para La No Violencia, Venezuela

Raquel Povchol, President, Dialogo Por Venezuela

José Javier Martínez, Youth Coordinator, VENTE Venezuela

Josefina Díaz, Tricolor Viena

Patricia Wallis, SOS Venezuela Belgium

Jose Manuel Pinto, Multicultureel Viva Venezuela 

Ibelice Engelhardt, Multicultureel Viva Venezuela

Aneleygmar Rosales, Student Centre President, Universidad Humboldt, Venezuela

Alejandro Conejero, Deputy President of University Centres Federation, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela

Fabio Valentini, University Counsellor, Universidad Catolica Andrés Bello (UCAB), Venezuela

Jorge Osuna, University Counsellor, UCAB, Venezuela

Oliver López, University Counsellor, Universidad Santa María, Venezuela

Diego Serboni, Univesity Counsellor, Universidad Santa María, Venezuela

David Gómez, Human Rights Professor, Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela

International NGOs

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch

Carlos Ponce, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Freedom House

Christian Scharling, President, International Federation of Liberal Youth

Thor Halvorssen, President, Human Rights Foundation

Carlos Suarez, CEO, Justice International

Yuri Dzhibladze, President, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights

Jakub Klepal, Executive Director, Forum 2000 Foundation

Yang Jianli, President, Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China

John Suarez, International Secretary, Cuban Democratic Directorate

Sylvia G. Iriondo, President, Mothers and Women against Repression (M.A.R. Por Cuba)

Nataly Mariñan, Directora Ejecutiva, Libres

Irving Cordero, Coordinator, Diálogos sobre la libertad

Gabriel C. Salvia, Director General, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina

International Organization for Victim Assistance

Martin Ängeby, Secretary General, Swedish International Liberal Center

Juan Jose Diaz Quintana, General Coordinator, Latin American Youth Network for Democracy

Micaela Hierro Dori, President, Centro de Investigación y Capacitación de Emprendedores Sociales

Roberlay Rodriguez Caraballo, Movimiento Deportivo Comunitario Salud Social

Lic. Cesar Ivan Mendoza Regal, Coordinador General, Plataforma Social Cubana Juventud Activa Cuba Unida

María de Lourdes Mariño Fernández, Mesa de Dialogo de la Juventud Cubana

Author

unwatch

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